Sunday, June 17, 2007

 

Scramjet hits Mach 10 over Australia

‘A supersonic scramjet engine has been successfully launched from a test range in Australia. The Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) said the scramjet achieved reached 10 times the speed of sound during the test.

Scramjets are supersonic combustion engines that use oxygen from the atmosphere to burn onboard fuel. By contrast, conventional rockets carry their own oxygen to burn fuel. The hope is that scramjets can be made lighter and faster than oxygen-carrying rockets.

But mixing oxygen with a fuel in a supersonic airflow and then igniting it is tricky. The tests involved accelerating the scramjet to several times the speed of sound and switching it on.’




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